|Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad 500GB |
March 23, 2007
By Jeffy Milstead
Original Article Link: http://www.macworld.com/2007/03/reviews/mercuryelite/index.php
Featuring the latest trend in hard-disk enclosures, this drive offers, in addition to the three ports traditionally found on Macs (USB 2.0, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800), another port you might not use immediately: a speedy eSATA (external SATA) connector.
The drive is housed in a sleek, silver enclosure and features a perforated grill faceplate and a snugly fitting stand that allows you to position it vertically. The drive includes a full-size USB port on the back, though it lacks an antitheft slot. The drive did not come with a manual or any other documentation.
The drive is preformatted for the Mac, so getting up and running is as simple as connecting the provided AC power adapter, plugging in to one of the four ports on the drive (an eSATA interface card is not included, but OWC sells several types), and turning on the power. The drive has a fanless construction, which contributes to a hardly noticeable noise level. The drive comes bundled with ProSoft Engineering’s Data Backup (4.5 mice) and Intech’s Hard Disk SpeedTools.
In our tests, the drive turned in respectable performance numbers. To give you an idea of the performance gains eSATA can provide, our tests showed that eSATA was about 10 percent faster than FireWire 800.
Scale = Minutes: Seconds
How We Tested: We ran all tests with the drive connected to a dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with Mac OS X 10.4.8 installed and 1GB of RAM. We tested the drive using FireWire 800 and eSATA. We copied a folder containing 1GB of data from our Mac’s hard drive to the external hard drive to test the drive’s write speed. We then duplicated that file on the external drive to test both read and write speeds. We also used the drive as a scratch disk when running our low-memory Adobe Photoshop CS test. This test is a set of four tasks performed on a 150MB file, with Photoshop’s memory set to 25 percent.—Macworld Lab testing by James Galbraith and Jerry Jung
Macworld’s buying advice
If you’ve outgrown your current storage and need to expand, consider the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad 500GB. Its quiet operation, good performance, and software bundle will make it a welcome addition to your desktop. If 500GB is too big or too small for you, the drive is also available in other capacities, from 250GB to 750GB.
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